Invitation, announcement, and monogram protocol

It’s time to order invitations for my daughter’s wedding. My ex-husband and I are both paying for the wedding. How do we show our names since we are no longer Mr. and Mrs.?

Your name is listed first, and the bride’s father’s name is listed second, on a separate line, like this, using either Ms. or Mrs. as a title, and your first name:

Mrs. Jane Jones

Mr. John Jones

request the honour of your presence

at the marriage of their daughter

Samantha Joy


Mr. Brian Anders Brown


How do you monogram a woman’s name when it is a hyphenated name?

With the initials all the same size, you would show her first name, middle name, and hyphenated last name initials with a hyphen between the two last names. For example, for Ann Marie Green-Hanson, the monogram would be AMG-H. If you are monogramming her last name only, it would be G-H.


Etiquette-12.31.15My daughter is a January graduate. We are very proud of her and want to send announcements to friends and family. The college is holding a small ceremony for the grads so that they don’t have to wait until June for the usual ceremony. We aren’t inviting anyone to the ceremony, we just want to share our good news. Is this okay, and if so, when do we mail the announcements?

Graduation announcements can be sent the day after the ceremony. If you send them before, recipients may think they have received an invitation to attend the ceremony. As with any other announcement, they do not obligate the recipient to send a gift in return. They certainly may send a gift, particularly if they are close to the graduate, but it isn’t required. A card of congratulations is always a nice response, or a call or a note that recognizes this important achievement.


We have been invited to a party and the invitation says “Cocktail Attire.” What does this mean?

This request generally means that women wear street length (not long) dressy dresses or suits or pant ensembles and men wear dark suits, shirts and ties.


It is hard for my small children to sit at the dinner table for a long period of time. At home, they have learned to ask to be excused, but what do we do when we are at a friend’s?

At someone else’s home, if they are old enough to understand the protocol, they should ask the host if they may be excused. If this is too difficult, they would ask you and you would tell them to ask Mrs. Smith, who, hopefully, would say, “of course!”


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